Kanye West’s “Twisted Fantasy” Artist Explains Banned Wal-Mart Cover

Kanye West’s “Twisted Fantasy” Artist Explains Banned Wal-Mart Cover

The artist responsible for designing Kanye West‘s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album cover has stepped forward to describe the make-up behind the nude banned Wal-Mart CD.

Artist George Condo stood behind his artwork and explained the symbolism behind depicting a nude Kanye and unnamed woman.

“That’s a good painting,” Condo says matter-of-factly. “She’s a kind of fragment, between a sphinx, a phoenix, a haunting ghost, a harpy. And then Kanye is also in some sort of strange 1970s burned-out back room of a Chicago blues club having a beer — so far away from the real Kanye West that it’s just a scream.” In painting Kanye in such an outrageous situation, Condo says, “I was challenging him with the imagery as well. He said, ‘I’m shocked, but I like it, and I gotta go with my gut feeling.'” This cover’s already been banned by Wal-Mart and Apple’s iTunes Music Store, much to Condo’s disgust. “The superimposition of people’s perceptions on a cartoon is shocking,” Condo scoffs. “What’s happening in their minds should be banned. Not the painting.” (New York Mag)

Last month, West tweeted the image of his barred cover art.

“In all honesty … I really don’t be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug!”

“I wanna sell albums but not at the expense of my true creativity.” (Kanye West’s Twitter)

Despite West’s censorship claims, a Wal-Mart spokesperson later refuted the allegation.

“We’re excited about Kanye West’s new album and we look forward to carrying it in our stores on November 22nd,” a Walmart spokesperson says in a statement provided to EW. “As always, it’s our standard practice to carry the edited parental advisory version. We did not reject the cover artwork and it was never presented to us to view.” (Entertainment Weekly)

An industry source also said that stores such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy account for a significant portion of album sales.

At issue, said the high-placed industry source, was whether or not mass-market retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart would carry an album featuring venomous nudes, and one that would no doubt inspire controversy. Though sales at mass merchants have been declining in recent years, data from Nielsen SoundScan for the last two years still had the likes of Best Buy and Wal-Mart accounting for at least 10% or more of physical CD sales. (Los Angeles Times)

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